Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fruit of Insomnia - A Nursery Rhymesque poem.

Twas a midsummer's night,
And every other person did sleep;
Everyone except this humble one,
And I did try counting sheep.

The stars in the sky did glitter,
and the sandman's work was done;
But while everyone else got their forty winks,
I did not get even one.

The world did seem to be silent,
except for some snores;
I thought I'd sing myself a Lullaby,
And I sang till my throat was hoarse.

I closed my eyes and awaited,
for the sleeping to ensue;
But then I heard a very loud cry,
and it went 'Cock-A-doodle-do!'.

Now,The sun was back in the sky,
and the day was indeed bright;
Yet,now I was filled with hope,
Perhaps I shall sleep tonight!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Of things that could have been

Yesterday has gone away,
and tomorrow remains to be seen;
All that is left are memories,
and visions of things that could have been.

The choices have been already made,
and the changeless chain has been set in motion;
One cannot change or alter and affect,
that which is cidevant causation.

Present-day's preferences' precipitates will persist,
long after the future is but the past;
Yet,one cannot discern if those choices,
are those that shall last.

Yesterday is etched in stone,
while today's choices are umpteen;
One should work to a better tomorrow,
than worry about things that could have been.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

On the digitizing of taste.

Modern computers have come a long way since their early mathematical calculator days,and their usage has made our lives a very pleasant experience.Using a computing device and an internet connection,we can do things that would have been considered impossible only a few decades ago,such as have a 'real',eye to eye conversation with another person on the other side of the earth. With the use of robotic arms,it is even possible to physically manipulate objects acorss the globe. We are now in a world that is becoming smaller,thanks to the advent of high speed computing,and high speed internet. Yet,there are certain aspects of our living experience that we have not yet attempted to 'replicate' virtually,one of the most important of them being our gustatory sense ,more commonly known as the sense of taste.

One's sense of taste may not seem to be a very important part of our life experience(Atleast,not as important as one's visual/ocular sense),but that definitely is not true. Our sense of taste can act as a comforting element,can be an antidepressant,and when acting along with its closely related cousing,the sense of smell,can trigger memories of long ago.Taste can also help us identify harmful chemicals,and identify the differences between two similar looking substances etc. Thus,digitising of taste would have a lot of potential uses,if realized.

One way that this can possibly be done is by considering the four basic (or five,depending on which part of the world you're from) tastes -Sweetness,Bitterness,Saltiness and Sourness (And Umami) as 'primary' tastes,with diffferent rations giving different composite tastes,not unlike how different combinations of the different primary colours give rise to the other colours.One potential problem with this prospect is the vast number of combinations possible.With only three primary colours,the total number of colours identifiable on a computer is 16,777,216,and the number of composite tastes would obviously be much greater than this number. Also,the effect of food's texture on taste would not have been considered then,though it is an important consideration(Ground potatoes taste different than sliced potatoes,for example).The second major challenge that exists is the construction of relevant transducers-What use does the digitising of tastes have,if one is not able to actually tap them in the real world ? The conversion of the 'taste' of an object into digital signals itself can possibly be overcome by emulating the way that the human body itself does it - Maybe by constructing an artifical tongue and associated set of nerves.The complimentary system though ,would be much more complex to realize.In a presentation that a associate and me gave on this topic 4 years ago,when in college(The presentation proceeded quite bitterly ,no pun intended),we speculated the usage of directly interfacing with the
taster's nervous system,but obviously this has its own risks,and is definitely not a simplistic system.

If one were to construct a taste-digitizer system,it would only be a matter of time before personal computing systems such as Macs,PCs and smartphones incorporated one within them.Restaurants and food companies would even be able to put up the 'tastes' of their products online,for people to relish and compare with the competitior's products.People would be able to try new and exotic cuisines from the comfort of their homes,and cookery shows would acquire a whole new dimension.I even envision a smartphone app that would probbaly show you how different combinations of different ingredients would taste like.It would also be able to bring people 'closer',in all new ways.Of course,apart from these uses,it owuld have potential uses in law enforcement corporations etc to identify drugs,and to identify if a certain product is contaminated etc.

I'm very excited at the prospects that the future holds,and hope to see the evolution of such a system sometime soon. Let us all look forward to what the future brings with it.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Parallel universes away ?

One can say that no moment of one's life is greater than any other,for each of them has shaped our present in their own ways.Yet,there are certain moments in the past that one seems to remember better than any other.One tends to ponder how different the present may be,if only he had acted in a different way in those moments,than he has.Certain choices ,made differently might have resutled in one being muuch more happier ,and certain other choices would probably have resulted in a more duller/sorrowful present.
Sometimes,I'd like to think that there are instances of me ,in other universes,taking a different choice than I have.The thought is a very comforting one to have,indeed.I wonder how my life has turned out to be,in those other 'planes of existence' and hope that those 'other mes' not too unhappy with life there.
Either way,Whether or not I'm happy with the results of choices I took in the past,I've learnt to be accepting of them all,and hope that the future will be filled with more of the good ones than the bad.
Thus,here I'm,looking ahead,with hopes that the future is filled with good choices,and wishing the same for all!

Also,if you have any such moments,and don't mind sharing them with the world,do tell us.We can talk about the things that could have been